A £20 million investment at Luton Airport will provide a state-of-the art terminal for the exclusive use of the very, very rich as well as new jobs.
Signature Flight Support, in Percival Way, held its ground breaking ceremony yesterday (Thursday) to start off the investment, which includes £8 million on a new aircraft hangar.
Around 150 guests turned up for speeches at Hangar 63, including Luton’s two Labour MPs, the borough council’s leader and deputy leader, the boss of the airport and an array of senior people from Signature and its owning company, BBA Aviation. Signature is a multinational company, flying business people on 1,000 routes around the world from airports across the globe.
When it is opened in 2015, the new terminal will look nothing like the old one that will be demolished to make way for it. As well as a comfortable waiting area, it will have meeting rooms, an area for press conferences and a part of the terminal will be used to give more privacy to the VVIPs - Very, Very Important People.
Joe Gibney, the managing director of Signature in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Luton was the preferred airport for business jets in the UK and he was pleased to be able to support the town’s “resurgence and regeneration”. Signature is a supporter of the Love Luton initiative and Age Concern.
Signature has 150 direct employees at Luton and supports something like 300 others indirectly. This is set to increase by 100 direct employees. “Our aim is to build the UK’s finest business jet terminal,” he said.
Colin Chick, Luton Borough Council’s corporate director for environment and regeneration, said he was pleased to see a “world-leading facility” in Luton and added it was a tangible statement about the future of the town.
The fact that such a company has decided to invest in the airport and provide some positive publicity for the town was seen as significant by the speakers.
Councillor Sian Timoney, the council’s deputy leader, said it was a “visible sign” that companies are investing seriously in the town.
And Glyn Jones, the managing director of Luton Airport, said it was a step on the road to making “this airport absolutely first rate’. With a reference to sci-fi series Star Trek, he added: “It looks as if your new terminal is going to beam up passengers to their aircraft.”
Luton is believed to be the busiest airport for business travellers in the UK and the second most important in Europe.